East Ham man appeals gangland murder conviction

A man serving a life sentence over the brutal death of a young Romanian during a suspected gangland turf war is appealing against his conviction.

Gabriel Alecu, 37, of Barking Road, East Ham, was one of several men who were jailed for life in January 2006 for the murder of 22-year-old Eugen Breahna.

Mr Breahna was clubbed to death as he sheltered from a gang of attackers in the back of an ambulance in Bounds Green, in January 2005.

But, six years after conviction, Alecu now has a fighting chance of winning his freedom after he was granted permission to appeal by the Court of Appeal.

Today, his legal team was at the court for a preliminary hearing, during which it was revealed that much of his appeal case will rely on evidence broadcast live from Romania.

Appeal judge, Lord Justice Pitchford, was told that British representatives in Bucharest may be called on to help identify the witnesses, who will be cross-examined via a video link.

Fresh evidence from an expert in mobile phone tracking - an issue at the centre of the case - is also expected to play a part in the appeal, the judge was told.

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Lord Justice Pitchford granted the application for evidence to be given live from Bucharest and said the appeal is likely to last up to two full days.

It is due to be heard later this year.